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Need help dating a dress

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by persephone60, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. persephone60

    persephone60 Registered Guest

    I found this beautiful black velvet dress recently. It has no internal tags. It has lace applique and some pleating that's difficult to see on the bust, and a side metal zipper (brand: Klozo). It's full lenth (floor/ankles), but the bottom doesn't look well finished (I've taken a picture of the tape on the bottom hem). Any help dating this dress would be much appreciated!
  2. persephone60

    persephone60 Registered Guest

    Another pic
  3. persephone60

    persephone60 Registered Guest

    Pic of hem
  4. persephone60

    persephone60 Registered Guest

    Better pics
  5. persephone60

    persephone60 Registered Guest

    Another pic
  6. persephone60

    persephone60 Registered Guest

    One more
  7. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

    looks McClintock-y to me. post Gunne Sax. that look did well for her and spans anywhere from the late 70s through the 90s (and maybe beyond then, too)

    had a gf in the 90s who was totally into that look.

    also, that look did so well for her (Jessica McClintock) that many many knock offs were done. i remember RACKS of this look in Contempo shops, and Maurices, and JC Penneys, which is where Shelly used to get hers.
  8. sMarie

    sMarie Registered Guest

    I agree that it looks like a 80's 90's jessica mcclintock dress, but that metal zipper down the side, the multiple straps, the fold over bust line and they way they finished the hem makes me think it is 1940s.
  9. sMarie

    sMarie Registered Guest

    Maybe the white applique was added later?? Are there any labels?
  10. persephone60

    persephone60 Registered Guest

    Unfortunately, there aren't any labels.

    Are there other details I could describe or take additional pictures of that would help with the dating?
  11. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member


    From the peek of the lining and the type of stitching at the back of the neck, and the type of velvet, it does not look 40s to me at all. It almost looks like a home dressmaker garment fro the way the hem is done.

    The velvet (from what I can tell in a photo), looks like a "new" or post 1960 velvet. It has a loose nap and you can see the spaces between the rows of pile when you fold the velvet over. You just don't see that in earlier velvets, which had a better quality. The appliques just don't look that old to me either.

    I remember there was another designer in the 80s and 90s who did wonderful 1940 revival dresses and suits...Nancy somebody (brain fog here)...this has her look too, but does not have the quality.
  12. persephone60

    persephone60 Registered Guest

    Looking at it again, I would agree that the dress is more recent than the 40s--it seems like 80s or 90s is the consensus. Thanks!
  13. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    Where are you writing from Persephone? My Opera group are in need of Black & white dresses for a production of The Merry Widow in October.
  14. bycin

    bycin Guest

    I think this is a Scott McClintock. Late 80s. I had one similar in my shop.
  15. persephone60

    persephone60 Registered Guest

    bycin, that does look a lot like my dress and echos the others who were saying 80s/90s.

    Pinkcoke, I'm in Washington, DC. I'm not sure if I can give you more info about the dress availability, though--since I'm a "friend" and not a verified member, I know there are limits about what info I can post on the boards.
  16. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    This is a hard dress to date - it has elements of older as well as newer. Can you tell us what the fabrics are? An earlier dress is likely to be made of rayon velvet and a modern one will probably be polyester - if you're able to snip a small piece and do a burn test it will be clear. I think it would also help if we could see it on a mannequin or model - the silhouette does not reveal itself on a hanger.

    I'm leaning towards older but the fabric and silhouette will reveal a lot. In any case, if it is more modern, it's made with older techniques. I suspect it's early '50s though - the velvet looks more like a rayon to me, and side metal zippers weren't used much in recent times, even by old-style dressmakers.

    Actually, I have more questions: is the bodice fully lined? Are there any bones? Could you please show us a shot of the interior - and let us know if there is any overlocking/serging and how the seams are finished off.

  17. sMarie

    sMarie Registered Guest

    It resembles a gunne sax dress, it does. I don't know how long that type of white applique has used, but we have all seen a it on a ton Jessica Mcclintock dresses and it's variations and knock offs.

    My thinking was that this is an older dress with that applique added later, to modernize it for the 80s/90s. Is there anyway for you to tell if it was added?
  18. bycin

    bycin Guest

    ps - mine had bones in it as did many from that late 80s era. It wasn't lined though, as I recall.
  19. sMarie

    sMarie Registered Guest

    The neckline of this reminds me somewhat of a swimsuit I have. There are obvious differences, but I think the two are comparable. Also, the way the straps are closer in, is similar. Here it is:

  20. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    sMarie, I love your swimsuit! :wub:


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